Physicians have performed skin resurfacing for many years with the use of chemical peels and sanding procedures. These methods were very painful and often resulted in less than satisfactory results. Laser resurfacing was introduced several years ago with CO2 Lasers.
Although the CO2 laser provides very good results, it has the disadvantage of usually requiring anesthesia as well as a prolonged healing time of up to 6 months. The Erbium laser has been introduced as the next step in laser resurfacing. Patients treated with an Erbium laser feel only mild discomfort during treatment and usually require only a topical/local anesthesia or none at all. Erbium patients also enjoy the tremendous benefits of healing within only a matter of days to a few weeks, instead of months.
An Erbium laser can be used to treat the following:
The Erbium laser has been designed to remove or noticeably decrease wrinkles and to improve the overall color and skin texture of the face, neck, and hands. Occasionally, additional treatments may be recommended to further enhance your results. Although treatment results will vary depending on various considerations, with few exceptions, you can expect an improvement in the texture and quality of your skin.
You may have heard about CO2 lasers for skin resurfacing. Although the results may be very good, patients experience a great amount of pain requiring full anesthesia for treatment and usually take a long time to heal. The Erbium laser offers the benefits of less pain during treatment and recovery along with significantly faster healing times than other resurfacing lasers.
The erbium laser light is absorbed by the water in your skin cells. The absorption in turn causes the instantaneous vaporization of the cell. As the laser light is passed over the skin, a mere 30 millionths of an inch of tissue is removed at a time. This incredible control allows treatment only as deeply as needed, from removing wrinkles to refreshing your overall skin appearance. After the damaged skin is removed, new skin quickly re-grows in its place.
Of course, everyone will heal at various rates depending on the depth of treatment, the particular areas treated, and your own healing rate. Noticeable results are typically seen in a few days, with complete healing in only a few weeks. Light resurfacing around the eyes and lips in general takes only a few days. A deep full facial resurfacing may take longer before you feel esthetically comfortable to return to your normal activities. Camouflage makeup can conceal the redness until the healing is complete.
Depending on your specific treatment, you will be provided with detailed skin care instructions. Our staff will spend considerable time before the procedure explaining the process and preparing your skin. The most common complication, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can be prevented with the proper conditioning. After the procedure we recommend long-term maintenance in the form of cosmeceuticals which will assist in the healing and help provide continued improvement over the next several months.
The erbium laser is set up to deliver energy and specific depths, from very superficial (10 microns) to very deep (300 microns plus). The Microlaser peels are typically in the range of 10 to 60 microns. The 10 micron energy setting is typically called Artic Peel. Typically, this procedure is repeated 2-4 times, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, but many peels may be done to achieve the desired result.
Typically, the procedure is repeated 2-4 times, spaced 4-6 weeks apart, but many peels may be done to achieve the desired result.
You will experience smoother, healthier, more vibrant skin, with a significant, immediate change in skin texture and tightness as compared to microdermabrasion.
The Artic Peel is very superficial and there is basically no downtime. With the deeper peels (30 to 60 microns) healing takes 3-4 days. This procedure can be performed on a Thursday so you can return to work the following Monday. Symptoms immediately following the procedure resemble a sunburn, with minor sloughing on the second day. Redness will begin to fade by the third day, and be easily covered up by makeup on the fourth day.
This is where the Erbium Laser shines. Fine lines around the eyes to deep wrinkles in the mouth and cheek areas can be treated because this laser allows for specific treatment depths. In contrast to the CO2 laser there is minimal ‘deep thermal damage’ resulting is much faster recovery and less redness in the first few weeks after the procedure. When Silon dressing is used after Erbium resurfacing re-epithelialization typically occurs by the 5th day.